Why using Wordfast Anywhere?

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The Case for an Online CAT tool

The idea of a purely browser-based translation tool can sound surprising. Most translators will frown at the prospect of entrusting precious data to a remote server, making them dependent on an internet connection for work, not to mention concerns of confidentiality, and data security. Furthermore, online translation tools are suspected of compromising speed and features. Most translators will prefer working from their local PC, using installed software.

On the other hand, some of the unique features of a browser-based CAT tool will appeal to translators in some situations, and to translation clients as well. Such a tool offers:

  • An instant solution - WFA does not need installation; deploys in no time.
  • Ever-readiness - WFA is always up-to-date: no need to wonder which version you are running, whether to update.
  • True ubiquity - WFA works from any platform: your PC at home or your grandma's Mac, in an internet cafe, an airport internet booth, from a PDA, an iPad, wherever you want.
  • Data protection - WFA offers safe and resilient data storage. Servers running at online facilities use redundant disks, serviced 24/7 by resident engineers. On the other hand, personal computers are prone to hard disk failures, theft, destruction, viruses, spyware, etc.
  • Teamworking - WFA provides an instant workgroup facility for those who need it; a browser-based CAT tool is ideal for shared projects.
  • Workflow optimization - WFA saves a lot of file manipulation and transfers, avoiding the associated loss of productivity. Documents, TM, and terminology stay in the client's servers; translators only need to log in and concentrate on what they do best.
  • Ease of use - WFA is a blessing to computer-challenged translators, who avoid the technical overhead associated with local computing, installing and troubleshooting software, etc. This is a dramatic reversal of a current trend in CAT technology, which is marred with unnecessary complexity. Consider the tangled web of heterogeneous technologies dubbed "solutions" by leading suppliers, which forces translators and Project Managers to constantly learn new techniques and make new mistakes, and their employers to constantly pay for upgrades and training.

The above may sound too good to be true. The trade-offs that still make an online CAT tool a dubious proposition are listed below, with the way WFA addresses the issues:

Online CAT tool drawbacks Wordfast Anywhere's answer
Most online translation tools today are proprietary tools that are used only when the translator works for an agency or a client who runs the show and decides everything (the "satellite" concept of some CAT vendors: the translator is turned into a typist behind a controlled screen). Wordfast's philosophy has always run counter to that view of the profession. WFA offers a tool that is really translator-oriented. Translators can work wholly independently if they wish. They fully control their data, decide what to do with it.

There may be agency deployments of WFA in the future where projects are prepared by Project Managers, but WFA's primary calling is to empower translators.

Further to the above, in rare cases when an online CAT tool is made available outside the "satellite" scheme, it tends to be either very expensive, or hide some pay-per-use commercial plot. WFA offers a totally free, full-fledged online tool to all translators, with no strings attached.
Online tools usually mean a sluggish workflow that slows you down. Since most translators are paid per actually produced translation (whatever the metrics), anything sluggish is just not right. WFA is architectured to offer the same sort of productivity as a local desktop tool. The method may appear slightly slower at first, but WFA is made to produce the same output as its desktop counterpart when used correctly.
Online tools are usually feature-poor, compared to stand-alone, desktop tools. WFA is integrating the essential features that make Wordfast an ongoing success, and further improvements are being prepared to even outperform desktop CAT tools.

Wordfast Anywhere Basics

Documents to be translated:
You can upload documents in various formats (TXT, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, HTML, TXML, MIF, INX, IDML, PDF) to WFA for translation, and download them back after translation. Up to ten documents can reside in your workspace at any given time. Download then delete documents from the Workspace after translation is completed to free space and upload more documents.

Translation Memory:
Your private online TM grows as you translate. You can also upload TM content, in Wordfast TM or TMX file format, to your private Workspace at WFA, in as many languages as you want. Those TMs are yours, confidential, and never shared nor disclosed to third parties, unless you specifically invite others. Your private online TM can be downloaded, should you need a local copy of it.

There is an option to also leverage translations from a large public, read-only TM (the VLTM), and/or from machine translation. Those two sources are optional and will always be considered secondary to your private TM.

You can add terminology to your glossary a you work, just as with Wordfast. You can also upload terminology to your Workspace, in as many languages as needed. Those glossaries are yours, confidential, and never shared unless you specifically invite others. Your private online glossary can be downloaded, should you need a local copy of it.

There is an option to also leverage terminology from Tilde Terminology Services.